"It's Captain Levi!" was the first thought that ran through Eren's mind, and his body instinctively stirred in its confines.
This was also what caused Bertolt to look back, and study the reason for his sudden movement. Even from this distance he could still see it - the determination in Captain Levi's sharp features.
Bertolt didn't need to admit the obvious - he was afraid of the Captain's abilities. And that's exactly why he immediately informed his friend.
Inside the Armored Titan Reiner was debating with himself whether he should continue with their escape or stop and fight Captain Levi and the rest of his squad.
Thanks to his hardened skin, none of them could even graze him.
- This could be fun.
The Armored Titan stopped, and turned in the direction of the approaching scouts.
- Reiner, you can't be thinking of fighting them!
Bertolt protested, but he knew there was no way for him to persuade his friend otherwise. He just had to concentrate on holding as tight as possible to the Armored Titan's body.
- Looks like the Armored Titan wants to play. I should demonstrate some of my best moves!
Oruo was hoping to get a chance to show off to Petra and the Captain today, and that time came at last. He sped ahead with his horse.
- Wait, Oruo!
Petra called after him, but he didn't stop.
"What the hell is that idiot planning to do on his own?" Captain Levi thought.
Oruo's target was Eren, and he immediately went after Bertolt.
He was able to avoid the Armored Titan's giant fist by an inch, but when he went for Bertolt, the latter took out one of his blades and was able to push Oruo away. He started falling down.
In this empty place he had nowhere to use his wire, other than the titan's skin.
In his fall he hooked himself up to the Armored Titan, in an attempt to avoid landing on the ground, but the moment he did he was grabbed and the titan brought him closer to his face.
"You fool", Reiner thought.
Oruo's body was crushed, and the Armored Titan let it slide out of his hand and fall on the ground.
Petra was watching with a shocked expression on her face.
- How...dare you?!?
In her fury, she went after the Armored Titan.
- Petra, NO!
Captain Levi called after her, but she didn't listen.
Unlike Oruo she was more agile, and was swiftly escaping the Armored Titan's attempts to hit her, and when she finally saw her opening, she aimed for his neck.
Petra quickly dived down, but to her horror her blades broke the second they came in contact with the hardened skin.
In her confusion, she didn't notice the Armored Titan's hand, which grabbed her and threw her hard on the ground. She didn't even have time to scream.
Captain Levi stood there dumbfounded, his lips were half open, his eyes unfocused.
- Captain Levi! We must act quickly!
Eld and Gunther made an attempt to pull Captain Levi out of his current state. When he heard the Armored Titan run towards them, Levi quickly snapped out of it, and called out to the two.
- Quickly! Split up!
The three of them got out of the way just in time, and Captain Levi spoke up once more.
- You, two, distract the Armored Titan. I will get Eren back.
- Yes, Sir!
- Commander, I can see the Armored Titan.
I point ahead, where the fight is ongoing. Since the Commander doesn't answer me, I turn around. His impervious poker face is back, and he looks deadly serious.
"He's probably in the middle of pondering over all the possibilities, and putting together a plan in his head."
We aren't close enough to see more in detail, but something catches my eyes. Actually two things - two bodies.
- Oh, no...they're dead...
I voice my thoughts, and it seems that causes a reaction in the Commander, because he shifts a bit in his spot.
- Listen to me, everyone.
The Commander turns to the rest of the Survey Corps and the survivors from the Military Police.
- We need to aid Levi's Squad as much as possible. Be very careful around the Armored Titan, and focus on stealing Eren away. We aren't leaving, until he's back with us! Give your best effort!
- Yes, Sir!
We all answer as one, and I smile at the Commander reassuringly. Since there's nothing more I can do without any of my gear, I can at least be there for him.
To my surprise he smiles back, and I can read the silent gratitude in his blue eyes. I turn around, and my eyes follow the movements of the Armored Titan.
"Why do we have to fight...?" I can't help but feel perplexed.
Eld and Gunther did their best to distract the Armored Titan as much as possible, but that proved to be a highly difficult task. He wasn't very fast, but his strength compensated for that.
Captain Levi desperately tried to find an opening, but every time he attempted to approach Bertolt and Eren, he needed to move back in order to avoid being crushed. He cursed out loud.
- Desi, hold the bridles, and stay as far away as possible.
The Commander leaves me in control of the horse, and stands up on its back.
- Commander, what are you planning to do?
But the second the question leaves my lips, he is already gone.
"ERWIN!" I scream internally. There's no way I will just stay still like this.
I move back to Armin's side.
- I need you to get me on the Armored Titan's shoulder where Bertolt is.
- What?! But you have no gear.
- You just need to drop me there, trust me.
Armin nods frantically.
- I will need one of these.
I take out one of his spare blades, and we both gallop towards our target.